Teamsters Push for RR Donnelley’s Adoption of Higher Standards of Conduct

Workers from Wisconsin, Brazil and England Join Global Push

CHICAGO, May 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today workers from RR Donnelley and related printing plants in the United States, England and Brazil called on the company’s board of directors to adopt higher standards for human rights, environmental and anti-corruption practices.

The Teamsters Union presented a resolution at the company’s annual meeting urging RR Donnelley to adopt and implement a company-wide sustainability policy based on the United Nations’ Global Compact. The U.N.’s Global Compact is comprised of 10 principles that uphold internationally proclaimed human rights, labor standards and environmental protections and anticorruption standards.

“Since RR Donnelley bought the Banta plant I work in nothing has changed,” said Julie Carter, an employee of Banta’s Menasha, Wisconsin plant. “From 2004 to 2007, Banta violated health and safety laws. I have concerns about safety standards and getting them raised. I want RR Donnelley to grow and prosper because my family’s well-being depends on it.”

Banta Corporation was recently acquired by RR Donnelley, one of the world’s largest commercial printing companies.

“Adopting a global standard for safety and health could be a first step in streamlining operations,” said Steve Sibbald, national officer for the graphical section of Amicus, a trade union in the United Kingdom representing 3,200 RR Donnelley employees. “In England, we have works councils that can hold the company accountable for unsafe conditions. But workers in other countries do not have the same protections.”

“With the European works councils we set a high standard for health and safety,” said Andrew Howley, an employee of RR Donnelley in Flaxby Moor, Yorkshire, England.

“It would be most cost effective for RR Donnelley to have one set of standards, perhaps based on the European works councils. This would be good for the employees as well as the company.”

“Even better would be an independent body which would hold the company accountable to superior safety, human rights and environmental standards,” Howley said.

In addition to health and safety standards, union representatives expressed their concerns about the company’s treatment of union leaders at the plants.

“The RR Donnelley plants in Brazil need to respect union rights,” said Joaquim Oliveira, president of the President of the Union of Workers of Graphical Industries of Barueri, Osasco and Regiao and a worker at an RR Donnelley plant in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “Our union leaders are continually harassed by RR Donnelley managers for their union activities. In order for us to work together, we need to be given the respect our counterparts in other parts of the world have.”

The Teamsters Graphic Communications Conference represents more than 2,000 employees of Donnelley in the United States. The Teamsters Union was founded in 1903 and represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Source: International Brotherhood of Teamsters